Future of transport

Hong Kong taxi drivers stage protest against Uber-style car-hailing apps

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2015, 4:48pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 August, 2015, 10:16am

More than 30 Hong Kong taxi drivers staged a "go-slow" protest in downtown Hong Kong on Wednesday as frustrations grew over poor pay and increasing competition from car-rental drivers using smartphone and internet applications to offer unlicensed taxi services.

According to RTHK, the cabs set out from Tonkin Street in Sham Shui Po and proceeded slowly to the Central Government Offices in Admiralty, a distance of around 10 kilometres.

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Participating cabs bore signs stating that illegal car services were "unfair" while the government offered "no support" for licensed taxis.

Yip Kwok-wah, deputy chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi Dealers and Owners Association, told the broadcaster that in recent years the industry has been suffering great losses because of private drivers offering taxi services using smartphone apps.

The Hong Kong demonstration comes as taxi and car-hailing apps have been subject to protests all over the world. In mainland China, a number of drivers using smartphone apps, including Uber and market-leader Didi Kuaidi, have reported being attacked or subject to attempted blackmail.